The California Department of Education (CDE) received notice from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) that the state’s Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five (PDG) Strategic Plan has been reviewed and accepted. We have made the PDG Strategic Plan available for you to view.
The PDG Strategic Plan provides an initial roadmap for improving California’s early learning and care (ELC) system by recommending and prioritizing actions across fundamental issues of quality, access, and financing that would be phased over a 10-year period. The PDG Strategic Plan builds upon recommendations outlined in the PDG Needs Assessment and the final report issued by the California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education, and is now a foundational source for developing the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care (MPELC). The options laid out in the PDG Strategic Plan to address the needs of children, families, and providers are numerous, extensive, and in many cases, interdependent with other actions, many of which will need to be led and/or funded by the Administration and the Legislature.
What is the connection between the PDG Strategic Plan and the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care?
The MPELC is intended to focus the decisions state leadership will need to take by providing actionable policy scenarios and financing models to address access, quality, facilities, and universal preschool goals. Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on California’s young children, families, and ELC providers, the MPELC recommendations for immediate actions to stabilize the state’s ELC system will be critical.
The MPELC development process includes ongoing engagement with state agency leadership, including the Governor’s Office, the California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS), the CDE, the State Board of Education, and the California Department of Social Services. The newly established Early Childhood Policy Council (ECPC), with representation chosen by the Governor’s Office, the Legislature, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, will also provide feedback on emerging MPELC priorities, and the PDG State Stewardship Team and stakeholders in focal counties and at large will be utilized to address key questions.
For more information on the MPELC, please visit the CalHHS Master Plan site.
Will funding for PDG-related activities continue?
In December 2019, the ACF announced that California was one of 26 states and territories that were awarded funding either for the PDG Renewal (PDG-R) or initial PDG (PDG-I). California will receive $13.4 million annually for three years for a total of $40.2 million (11 percent less than the original amount requested). The CalHHS submitted California’s application for the PDG-R and is currently awaiting receipt of funds from the ACF. It is anticipated that projects for the PDG-R will begin in July 2020. The CDE is partnering with the CalHHS in the transition of lead agency oversight for the PDG-R while the CDE continues to manage the final projects of the PDG-I.
The application covers six different required activity areas, which include: (1) statewide needs assessment; (2) statewide strategic plan; (3) parent and family knowledge, choice, and engagement; (4) best practices and professional development for the workforce; (5) improvement in quality and service integration, expanded access, and new programs; and (6) monitoring, evaluation, and data use for continuous improvement, meaningful governance, and stakeholder engagement. Specific activities proposed by the CalHHS build on key PDG-I projects and generally align with the focus areas of the MPELC.
- For questions on PDG-I activities, please contact: CAPDG@cde.ca.gov
- For questions about PDG-R, please contact: PDG@chhs.ca.gov
How will these projects be impacted by COVID-19?
Because California is currently facing COVID-19, the CDE and the CalHHS have turned its immediate attention to addressing the needs of children, families, and providers in this unprecedented period. Although the MPELC, ECPC, and PDG-R are all currently on track for implementation, these efforts may require some adjustments as the state manages the unknown impacts of the virus overtime. For further information on immediate actions the state has taken in response to COVID-19 and guidance to ELC providers and programs, please visit the states ELCD Bulletin.